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The children’s crusade

Posted by on October 12, 2006

Right now there’s a protest march of school children (with some chaperones) shouting their way through the little patch of Market Street we can see from our windows. Because they’re kids, with their shrill alien voices, it’s impossible to tell what they’re shouting about.

It’s funny to think that these kids, or the marchers in any of the many marches and parades that happen in front of our apartment, have been preparing for this for weeks, or maybe months. This is going to be the most exciting moment of their day. And for me, this moment is just a break between working on my latest job and checking my email.

They’ve stopped somewhere near me; they’re out of sight but I can still hear them. There’s an adult with a megaphone who’s encouraging them by yelling things like “What do you want?” and “I can’t hear you!” It would maybe be more effective if she yelled the actual chant now and then, since I might be able to understand her.

I have to say — and this seems maybe a little too self-evident to be blogging about — people yelling at me just outside my house don’t usually move me to join them. Living at the center of, well, everything, I have some experience with this. The drunk girls who invariably yell their “whoo”s from midnight to two a.m. every weekend don’t compel me to go drink with them. The occasional angry homeless rant hollered from five corners doesn’t make me wish I was homeless. So I’m not clear what purpose a small march like this really serves, except to be a little bit irritating.

Interesting side note: at the recent set-up for the Castro Street Fair, I noticed that over a hundred people setting up large booths just outside my house didn’t wake me up on Sunday morning, yet one drunk girl leaving a bar in the wee hours can and will rouse the entire neighborhood with an ill-timed shriek.

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